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cyber monday is over, but the deals live on. what to expect from online shopping this season. in today's cover story, a highly controversial figure at the sec steps down. plus, why more americans are going back to basics with their finances. being picky may be a good thing when it comes to the stock market. and, what is the deal? traders tell us what they expect from the fiscal fallout on capital hill.
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first business starts now. you're watching first business: financial news, analysis, and today's investment ideas. good morning. it's tuesday, november 27th. i'm angela miles. in today's first look: tech is in check. the dow and s&p 500 pulled back a touch yesterday, while the nasdaq pulled out a 6th straight win. apple and facebook were among the hot tech stocks. gold and oil both slipped on concerns about whether greece will get another bailout, and the u.s. budget. the governor of new york places the cost of hurricane sandy at $42 billion in damages and losses. and all bets are off at the website can no longer allow u.s. residents to place financial bets on the prediction markets. intrade correctly predicted president obama would be re-elected and that the u.s. is not likely to fall off the fiscal cliff.
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there are lots of rumblings coming out of washington. let's turn to scott bauer of trading advantage to talk about this alleged fiscal cliff. what do you think - and good morning - deal or no deal, scott? > > good morning angie. yeah, there is going to be a deal. it may not be later this week, it may not be next week, but i think at a minimum we are going to see congress, the president, everyone say, you know what, we are on the table together here, and even if we have to extend this three months, six months, we are going to get it done. there is no way with the recovery that we have seen - and i'm not talking about the stock market recovery, i am talking more of the consumer sentiment recovery, housing recovery - with what we have seen the last quarter of this year, there is no way that the guys in washington can harm that or add anything to take the momentum away from that. it just won't happen. > let's talk about the stock market. what levels are you watching here? > > 1390 really held yesterday, during the sell-off in the morning. that is a real near- term support in s&ps. i think
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in the short-run, we see 1390- 1430 is really the range, probably going into the end of the year. > and what are you trading these days scott? > > i also saw yesterday morning a nice reversal in the xlf, in goldman sachs, j.p. morgan, some of the bigger banks, started off weak with the rest of the market and then really rallied. so, i do think banks are going to hold their ground going into the end of the year. there is also one stock with earnings after the close today, gmcr. watch out for that one. i think there is much more risk - when i say risk, upside potential - than there is to the downside. > we will watch for a green mountain. have a good trading day. > > you too. from black friday to cyber monday, consumers did not hold back on spending this year. sales over the thanksgiving holiday hit a new record of $59 billion, with the average shopper shelling out around $423. 89 million people went shopping on black friday, up from 86 million last year. nintendo reports selling out of
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its wii u while apple ipads sold at a brisk 11 per hour. online shopping numbers are projected to climb this season, with over half of shoppers logging on to buy. yesterday's cyber monday deals are set to stretch throughout the rest of the week. but some are saying beware of holiday cyber scams. janna robinson, a tech analyst with hollywood tech, says scams can be avoided by sticking with what you already know. "i think the most important thing is to tell people to use their credit cards. don't use a debit card. be mindful about the websites they are purchasing from. i always say stick to the websites you know. most of the websites you look at will have similar deals, within a couple of dollars of each other." another tip for online shoppers - be sure to update your browser. older web browsers are known to have security flaws. updated versions have fewer risks. talks between president obama and congressional leaders continue behind closed doors. they are attempting to reach a
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deal through a series of meetings before automatic cuts and tax hikes go into effect at the end of the year. the president wants tax breaks for 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses, while raising taxes on the wealthy. most republicans remain against tax hikes and want to cut spending on social programs such as medicare and social security. however, the latest tone out of washington is encouraging. "as thomas jefferson said, and this is a quote, 'we should not put off tomorrow what we can do today.'" "the only balanced approach is one that includes real and lasting reforms, so republicans have stepped out of our comfort zone." in the latest manueverings, the obama administration points out the typical american household will pay $2,200 in additional taxes next year, which could
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hurt consumer spending by $200 billion in 2013 and threaten christmas shopping this season. house speaker john boehner and a few other key republicans appear willing to consider tax hikes. billionaire warren buffett chimes in that tax hikes won't stop the wealthy from investing. in our cover story, the woman who led the securities and exchange commission after the 2008 financial crisis is stepping down. mary schapiro took over an agency under fire for ignoring repeated warnings about the bernie madoff ponzi scheme. in 2008, the regulatory sec was itself under scrutiny, critized for failing to anticipate the lehman brothers bankruptcy, which sent financial markets reeling, and also missing the warning signs of bernie madoff's multi-billion dollar ponzi scheme. "before she got there, they almost needed someone to come in and confess." mary schapiro, who president obama said will be replaced by commissioner elisse walter, overhauled sec enforcement and made it more proactive. "to get out there and defend investors, as opposed to trying to figure out what happened after." but critics say for the dozens of insider trading
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investigations, the sec under schapiro did not crack down on top executives during the financial crisis or since. "the mf global mess - is anyone prosecuted? who's going to get prosecuted for that?" the sec under schapiro pushed for transparancy, revealing risk. "gigantic risks were being taken and no one knew what happened until they exploded. now, those dangers to the economy are better understoood and are being tracked." in 2010, schapiro's sec was surprised by an $862 billion 'flash crash,' made worse by electronic and high-frequency trading. it's all added up to more regulation that some believe has cut out smaller firms and individuals - among them, introducing brokers, ib's who accept orders to buy and sell but not the funds to support them. "they just say, 'this is not
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worth it to verify the source of funds for all my clients globally.' they just can't do it." while some believe schapiro leaves just as dodd-frank financial reforms are yet to be implimented may be drawn by a large firm to navigate those changes, others believe she may be headed to a cabinet position, perhaps the treasury. investors are shining a new light on knight capital. the trading firm teetered on the brink of bankruptcy for a few months. now that the wall street journal is reporting the firm may have a buyer, investors jumped on board, snapping up shares of knight capital monday. however, the ceo of knight capital tells rueters given rapid rebound in clients and trading volumes, there's no need for a partnership unless it makes strategic sense. he's been accused in the largest ever insider trading case and his bail mirrors those charges. former hedge fund manager matthew martoma was released on $5 million bond after making his first appearance yesterday in a new york court. martoma is accused of reaping profits of $276 million in illegal trades,
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trades that were apparently approved by hedge fund powerhouse steven cohen. martoma allegedly received non- public information about negative test results for a new alzheimer's drug. in britain, ubs is on the hook for $50 million after a rogue trader caused the bank to lose $2.3 billion. kweku adoboli was recently sentenced to 7 years in prison for his role in britain's largest trading scandal. adoboli traded etfs for ubs. regulators blame the bank for failing to question large amounts of revenue and risks by the trader. ubs considers the case closed. the swiss government, which bailed out ubs, is reviewing the bank's capital base. high-end homes are becoming speedy sellers in some markets. sales in the luxury market jumped 53% in october from last year. those homes typically price between 750,000 and a million dollars. usa today reports in some cities, the high-end digs are selling quicker, spending an average of 116 days on the market in cities like palm springs. it's said that many high-end owners are finally beginning to accept
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lower prices on high-end homes. the rental market is expected to remain competitive in 2013, keeping it a landlord's market. apartment rents on average will likely tick up 4.6% next year, while vacancy levels drop to 3.9% according to the national association of realtors. anything below 5% is a landlord's market. the cities with the lowest vacancy are portland, new york, and minneapolis. your fingerprint may soon make a bigger impression than your signature when paying with a credit card. discover financial services is testing "paying by fingerprint" among its own employees. staffers who want to participate sign up for the service and can then use touch pads to pay for items in the company cafeteria or convenience store. discover is hoping to develop both a safer and more convenient way to complete a
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purchase. down, but reportedly not out: according to the wall street journal, there's "a flood" of interested buyers looking to acquire hostess's iconic brands. georgia-based flowers foods is reportedly in an especally strong position to acquire hostess assets, even though the company has made no specific statements about hostess. meanwhile, 18,500 hostess workers are in the process of being terminated. the company said it plans to retain about 3,200 employees to help with the year-long wind-down of the company. if you want to purchase all the gifts mentioned in "the twelve days of christmas," know that you'll be singing - or ringing - up quite a tab. just over $107,000, according to pnc financial services group, which talllies up the prices each year. given that the price of everything from gold to bird food has risen since last year, the cost of the carol is up 6.1%. the most expensive verse in the song is 'seven swans a swimming' at $7,000.
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still to come, after years of being behind, why americans are finally playing catch-up with their finances. that's later. but first, black friday and cyber monday... today is give- back tuesday. the leader of the red cross joins us next for the latest on american generousity. we'll be back.
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the red cross is hoping that between hurricane sandy and the campaign donations that americans are not 'gived out,' and that tuesday serves to remind us to give to charity. with us is gail mcgovern, ceo of the american red cross. gail, what's the status of things since the superstorm? > > first of all, the american red cross responded to hurricane sandy, and i want to say that my heart goes out to those who were impacted by this horrible storm. and the american public has been so generous: we've served 7.3 million meals, provided 5 million relief items, served 40,000 turkey dinners on thanksgiving - all done with the work of 13,000 people, 90% of whom are volunteers. > a recent poll showed that
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three out of four people who made donations to people affected by the big storm plan to give again at the end of this year, but overall, slightly fewer people say they'll give to charity this year. why is that? > > well, i definitely think the economy has something to do with it. it's difficult for people to give. lots of little gifts can make a big difference, so i'm hoping people remember to give to their favorite charity. > lastly, you left a successful corporate career to head up the red cross. how can other charitable organizations recruit sharp business minds to help them? > > i would say one word, 'mission,' attracts people. if an organization has a mission and is effective, it'll help recruit people to joining non-
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profits. it's such a joy to lead with your heart and your head and that's what's going to bring more corporate people into the non-profit sector." > thanks very much. gail mcgovern of the american red cross. still ahead, what is shaking the confidence of american consumers? find out, next.
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americans are giving the economy a push with holiday spending. and yet, many are also choosing to save money for a rainy day. greg mcbride of joins us this morning via skype. good morning greg. > > thank you angie. great to be with you again. > what is your latest survey showing about savings in america? > > savings remains a very high priority among consumers. about one-in-five say that is their top financial priority right now. paying down debt also very popular. but, the most common response among consumers is that their top financial priority is either getting caught up or just staying current on the bills. and angie, that right there in a nutshell shows why this economy is stuck in first gear. > are they concerned about rising household expenses, for instance?
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> > absolutely. so many households are dealing with stagnant incomes, but yet, household expenses continue to creep higher, particularly in areas like health care, energy, and food, and it's just further squeezing their spending power. and again, that is why the economy is stuck in first gear. > in your survey, did you question them specifically about the fiscal cliff? are they concerned? > > we didn't question them specifically about the fiscal cliff, but based on the responses, it is really clear to me that that uncertainty is starting to creep in and undermine how consumers feel about financial security. we saw a decline relative to the prior month: in october everything had gone up; in november, we gave a lot of that back. every category of financial security showed a
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decline relative to the month prior. and that is after the election. so that uncertainty was out of the way. consumers are beginning to focus on the fiscal cliff. > why do you think they are feeling that way? > > first of all, once the election was over, a lot of the focus, both in the financial markets and elsewhere, turned toward the fiscal cliff. the reality is this: if we have a recession in 2013, it is going to hit everybody. unemployment will go up, earnings and net worth will all go down. as people start to realize that, they are going to become more concerned and they are likely to hold back. > it is interesting though, people are going back to basics and paying down their debt, so i guess that's the silver lining in all of this. > > yeah, actually, debt burdens are the lowest that they've been in almost 20 years relative to income; so yes, we have made some substantive progress in that area. > good to have you on the show. that's greg mcbride of have a good day. > > thank you angie. up next, is the shine on or off tiffany & company? chart talk is next.
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matt shapiro, president of mws capital, joins us now for some
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chart talk. good morning to you matt. it feels like you have to be nimble in this market and make the correct stock choices. what are you choosing? > > i agree, and obviously i am sticking to my game plan i have talked about on this show for several years here, which is stick to enduring brands, strong businesses, and i think, over the next few years, the good stocks, and the market as a whole, is going to be rewarded more than it has been for the last decade. > so let's pull out some of your names. tiffany tends to give you a lot of shine in your portfolio, let's say. > > yes, but they haven't done so well over their last few earnings reports. margins have kind of been compressed. it's not like everyone has been rushing out to buy diamonds, angie. but, it is the holiday shopping season, and households are forming a lot faster over the past 12 months than they have in the past coming out of the financial crisis. so
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despite this, it is an enduring brand, and it has earnings coming out, and it has such a franchise, it's really hard to mess up. so if you are thinking long-term, here is a company with luxury status, 15 p/e, 2% dividend. i think it is going to do well and get through this streak of poor earnings comparisons that they have had over the past year. > what do you make of facebook yesterday? that all of a sudden has become a hot stock. > > you know, it was just waiting to happen. once the stock bottomed out, $18, $19, everyone had just had it with it, you kind of realized it was a reasonable bet. if they can start catching and monetizing some of their base of users - it's still extremely popular - $50-, $60-billion market cap. if it just got some momentum, which it did - here we are at $25. > good to have you on the show. that is matt shapiro, president of mws capital. thanks matt. > > you've got it. it's time to wind it down for us today. coming tomorrow, why small business owners are finding plenty of reasons to celebrate
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this holiday season. from all us of at first business, thank you for watching! . a poll standoff has shut off treasure island. live in milpitas where there is a lot of police activity, we will tell you what
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is happening at this hour. a 14-year-old girl was killed while riding her bike, they are helping her fellow students deal with the tragedy. it is all ahead on the ktvu channel 2 morning news. and good morning, it is tuesday, november 27th, i am brian flores. >> very different morning as far as weather goes on the drive in, steve. >> there is still some fog but not like yesterday and it is going to be a cloudy gray day and we see a lot of that cloudy gray weather and that will be here on wednesday morning but cool to mild, 50s and 60s, here is tara. okay and we have the access an entrances to treasure island blocked off and
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